Friday, 10 May 2019

April 2019

#01
I found it on Cyprus: Victory by Karen Walker - 98 Votes
Brian was always best in our souvenir contest.  When he got malaria somewhere and threw arms in the air, I said "Unfair! Must be a purchased doodad."
Eye for bad, he found San Fran fog in a can and a chip-dip dish with the bugs of Oz.
Then I spied a pink shell in a shop.  Ancient like Cyprus, sharp little horns on top.
But oh the indignity done: red plastic berries, green sprigs, a loop of lace glued on.
Snatched from the sea: doomed to hang on a Christmas tree.   
Finally the winner, Brian bought me a steak dinner.

#02
Waiting for a Kiss by Laura Tapper - 114 Votes
It will sit on the wooden frame, making a perfect hemisphere, glistening like a jewel, seeming to vibrate with energy as the wheel turns slower.  Seconds will stretch into hours, days, decades, millennia.  That which was bright will dull, its shape and form flattening.  A skin will develop, scarlet will turn to rust and the liquid of life will gradually evaporate while you slumber.  It will become an unnoticeable smudge, an insignificant stain on the crime scene, the one drop which caused silence to fall.  In that moment, my power will be revealed and they will wish they’d invited me.

#03
Don`t Always Believe Your Eyes by Inguna Broze - 78 Votes
Morning dawned gray and wet. My mood was not much brighter. The deadline for submitting a story to the magazine was looming large but I was struck by a writer`s block. A blank sheet of paper seemed to radiate accusations that hit my conscience rather painfully.
Something else flashed across my mind – I`ve run out of coffee. A disaster! I have to get it.
Walking along the passage, I noticed a woman. She was about to enter lingerie department and doing so greeted the dummy, obviously having taken it for a shop assistant.
Hurrah! I`ve got at least a character!

#04
The Fall by Erin Breen - 81 Votes
I always remember thinking that the term ‘falling in love’ was so clich√© and stupid. I thought the same for anything that could even be considered part of the romance genre. How could somebody ‘fall’ in love? It sounds so theoretical, and frankly over the top. As Jim Moriarty once said “falling is just like flying, except there’s a more… permanent destination.” Falling is cynical. It’s deathly. It’s unexpected. There it is, the epiphany. The unpredictability of one’s love is the fall. To fall in love is to fly in unforeseen air, and I suppose the heartbreak is the landing.

#05
The Truth (for want of a better title) by Matt Seeley - 141 Votes
It was only as she left that I arrived at the truth; of the person I’d become and how much I had changed. I did all I could to make her happy, but succeeded only in adding to her sadness. I had neglected myself, my needs and my own happiness, and it was that which destroyed her. She knew that I loved her, more than I would love any other, and there lay the problem. I loved her too much to be myself. To be the man she had fallen in love with. She left, so we both could live.

#06
Spaced Out by Danni Saxby - 112 Votes
Everything feels a bit numb, but a bit sharper all at once. Like when you’re trying to focus a camera, but you end up swinging back and forth between a blur and reality.
Have you ever felt like that? It’s quite confusing, really. You can’t tell what’s right. Should you be eating, or are you sick? Did you sleep well, or need another nap?
It’s not your fault though. I suppose it’s my own personal method for coping with the world; I do weird things like this a lot. And in no way is that anyone’s fault but my own.

#07
Flight of Fantasy by Anne Wilson - 182 Votes
I lie by the pool; cocktail by my side as the sun streams down from a clear blue sky. My eyes are shut with pleasure, basking in its glow. All around me sun tanned bodies dive into the water, laughing raucously.
I stir suddenly.  Why is water dripping onto my body?   I open my eyes. Snow is falling from the sky and my sleeping bag is saturated.  I feel bitterly cold.
The realisation hits me. I am homeless and sleeping under a shop front.   Each night I book my passage escaping from reality but somehow I always seem to awake.

#08
Boss by Bernie Hanvey - 99 Votes
The dog was known as Boss by the Belfast housing estate kids. They heard harsh scratching as he desperately tried to crawl away from his tormentor, his muzzle leaving a dark trail of blood from where the first round had hit him in the face. His life trickled away from him through the short grey hairs on his jaw; an occasional desperate snarl ripping apart the cold morning air before he began whimpering again like a child.
Lining up the rifle sight, his tormentor watched the heaving chest, pressed the trigger and the pavement was awash with blood and fur.

#09
No Sweet Corn, Thanks by Harry Chapman - 54 Votes
A tuna mayo sandwich.
That was all it took. He gave up all his beliefs for a sandwich. It wasn’t a medium-rare steak with fried onions complimented with a simple mushroom sauce, from where they’d had their first date. It wasn’t a shepherd’s pie, the meat and gravy combining to bringing back childhood memories. It wasn’t even a tuna sandwich from their local delicatessen on two slices of lightly salted focaccia with mozzarella and gruyere and toasted for two perfect minutes. Just a shop bought tuna sandwich.
The tweet from two days prior had stated he was now a vegetarian.

#10
Mother's Days by Viv Smith - 64 Votes
"Mother’s Day, Mothering Sunday. All rubbish really. Just a scam by the greetings card people.” That’s what my Mum used to say. I would save up to get her something, and she would still moan her moan. Couldn’t just be chuffed and grateful. Now she’s long gone and I’m a Mum. I trot out the same lie about the greetings card people, but I’m chuffed to bits when they ignore that and buy something anyway. My Mum was just seven when her Mum died. She had to grow hard, make out it didn’t matter. We all knew it did though.

#11
Composing a Story of My Life by Anna Egorova - 71 Votes
Composing a story of my life. Write about what you know, they say. But what do I know? I know how transparent the wings of an apollo butterfly can be when it feeds on a thistle on a sunny day somewhere deep or high in the Mountains of Dagestan. I know how stiff the hands of those who would never do anything with these hands are. I know that sometimes I see more exciting things with my eyes closed than widely open. I know that contrast is the key to any composition. From this perspective my life is composed perfectly.

#12
A Story Only Time Could Remember by H Casey - 59 Votes
The year was 1967.
A thick blanket covered the ground, dusting the world in white. Everyone was in awe of the beautiful sight – a familiar view, yet it looked so different. Hidden by the flurry of flakes, the park lay motionless, the world having come to a standstill. The usual bustle of people was no more. Trees and flowers bore the weight of falling snow, the only sign of life.
It was a winters day of bluster and ice.
Two sets of footsteps crunched through the dazzling snow. They tarnished the pristine picture, telling a story only time could remember.

#13
Pest Control by Kira Clarke - 65 Votes
The droplets felt different this time, usually they were gradual and spontaneously placed, now they seemed to chase him with watery tendrils. He scrambled across the pathway panicked and blurry eyed, left, right, no, left, he needed to reach safety. A quick glance behind concluded that these weren't the cold biting droplets he was used to, no, steam rose from this advancing watery beast.
Was this the end? During his thought a crevice appeared in the distance, “A miracle!” he cried. Safety at last.
Mrs Robinson thought she'd cleared the ants nest with her boiled kettle water, she was wrong.

 #14
The Unknown by Elizabeth Butler - 201 Votes
Complete darkness, their eyes were unopened, a lamp in the corner provided the only light. They had no idea where they were. The room was clinically white, empty.
They could move their eyeballs, staring down all they could see was their own nose and mouth. Something felt odd. They didn’t know exactly, they just felt lighter somehow. Their memory was cloudy; they couldn’t remember how or why they were here.
They felt for their hands. Nothing. Then wiggling their legs, again nothing. The door swung open revealing a shadow.
“You have no limbs, no torso. Just a head!” it stated.

#15
Frostbite by Hannah Vernon - 123 Votes
Frost laced the windows, a lattice of desperate despair sealing her soul, suffocating her.
She shivered.
Ice shivered down her spine. Again.
She ignored it.
Her fingers screamed with the frozen lacerations of her captivity. Once more, she was forced to ignore it. Weakness was contagious, the bitterest gall, a poisoned perfume of-
Gas; she could smell gas.
She raised her head, tasting the air, swallowing the corruption.
The pollution raced down her throat, infecting her senses, her every finite freedom.
The chill was forgotten; all she could feel was the fire as it singed her lungs, merciless.
She screamed.

#16
I Have No Face by Gabrielle Mia Downie - 97 Votes
I am sergeant 122 and I currently have no face. I know you are currently debating whether I have a nose, eyes, ears: Obviously. Well I used to. It was the watershed of a submachine gun infiltrating my face which caused my features to melt.
“122 Are you injured?”
“No.” I said.
I was really. The bullet entered my pores and developed into a crater containing the remains of my flesh. I blushed, in bemusement that I remained alive. I fell.
Now my face yellows with age, the crimson stains forming around the battleground: My face. Now I lay unconscious.

#17
Boy Racers by Lorna Stewart - 88 Votes
With a screaming engine, the tyres skidded across the gravel tearing up the grass speeding uncontrollably towards the edge.
Then in a blink it was flying in the air before gravity pulled it down crashing into the concrete with a sickening sound of crunching metal. It lay on it’s roof, smashed, wheels pointing up to the sky like a dead fly.
For a second there was no sound. Then a scream rose up into the air.
“MUM!” A small boy started running towards the wreckage crying “Darren’s smashed my car again!” he wailed snatching the radio control from his brother.

#18
There Will Be No Headstone by Lindsay Bamfield - 176 Votes
There’s no point in making provision for a headstone. She isn’t eligible for ‘Beloved Wife and Mother.’ Surely no stonemason ever carved ‘An Efficient Secretary’ beneath a name and its dates.
She wishes to be cremated. No doubt her unclaimed ashes will be left to moulder on a shelf until they are thrown out. Or perhaps she will be given to a grieving family by mistake.
She pictures the family keeping her on their mantelpiece believing that she is Grandma. She’d be at family meals, birthdays and Christmases. It would make a nice change to be part of a family.

#19
Infatuation by Lee Knight - 130 Votes
That feeling. You know it. Of Fierce raging passion that engulfs your stomach. Ignites it. He had it. That night. Blazing inside. Never had he felt so wanted. So desired. So Utterly alive. He slept deeply. Deeply content, in all consuming wholesome yearning. He dreamed of home, a farm. Trees. Landscapes. Birds. A sparkling stream. The sound of his phone woke him. Abruptly. Aggressively. He reads. Breathes. Sobs. Violently. Painfully. Passionately.  He's exhausted. The Pain of need and of loss. He hides under the sheets. He is safe. Never to leave his fortress to the cruelness of the world again.

#20
Dear Millie by Chelsie Bee - 165 Votes
Every day a little boy, no older than six, walks up and down the hill outside my house to the old oak tree, almost tripping on his oversized orange wellies. Today after he left, I went up to the old tree. There in the gnarly wood was a small hole crammed full of hand-made envelopes holding letters written in crayon.
Dear Millie,
Did I make you mad at me? Dad says you went away like Mummy did. Mummy went because of me, after I was born. Did I make you leave too? I’m sorry Millie. Please come back.
Love,
Kenny

#21
The Light of a Goddess by K Gambon - 189 Votes
A warning. That’s what they left me.
“No man dares to look her way, she is a goddess and you are a mortal, do you think you would ever stand a chance?” I chuckled in response.
They think me weak and feeble, get near her? I just want to look, to gaze at her beauty, even for but a second, I would sacrifice my sight, for a second. Time is of the essence; I have to time it just right. The end draws near, my eyes stop burning.
The sun, at last. You grant me sight to your boundless beauty.

#22
Fear Against the World by Jessica Bee - 78 Votes
I never thought it would come this. I never thought I could face my fears. I knew it would be hard but nothing could stop me, as I held my breath and let go of the fear that would hold me back for many years. The fear of leaving my house. As I slowly stepped from my protection out into a dark, uncaring world. I realised its not all that It seemed. Slowly but surely the world seemed to turn brighter…happier. It seemed that this once cold, broken world. Could possibly be a better place than it once was before.

WINNING ENTRY
#23
Irreconcilable Differences by Stephanie Anderson - 298 Votes
Agatha watched as thirty years of marriage disappeared into the waiting Ford Focus. Ken paused momentarily but didn’t look back as he drove away. She closed the front door and began to remove her cardigan. Her dress soon followed as she ascended the stairs. She lingered in the doorway to the bedroom and gazed at the glorious site before her. Without further hesitation she ran to the tantalising presence and climbed on top of what was now, unashamedly, hers. Starfishing on the freshly laundered sheets, Agatha smiled to herself as she realised she’d never have to share a bed again.

#24
Last(ing) (W)rites by Frances Tate 247 Votes
Words we’ve shared in anger. Staccato, clipped and bruising. We’ve used most of them now. Recoiled, regretted, reloaded.
Come back for more.
Words we share as writers… re-arrange with flagrant copyright disregard. Patient humour that forgives the need to get soaking wet in your words.
Our words are tea and chocolate biscuits for the soul. Lo-cal, crumb-free and kind to keyboards. Eyeball to eyeball, never face to face. Warm, playful, supportive… words. We’re learning the language of each other without the nuances of sight or sound.
Words we share as friends. Subtle, intuitive, connected. Filling the gap I never saw.

#25
Five Tears by Joel Caldicott - 228 Votes
People often asked him, ‘How are you feeling?’
He knew they were terrified of the reply. So he lied. Incredibly, he’d managed not to sink ruinous levels of alcohol. Sally still kept nudging him. She said he needed professional help.
He eventually went to the GP, who listened, and looked grave, and stuck him on diazepam.
Rob shook hands. He didn’t collapse wailing. He remained dry-eyed while watching the miniature casket. It was lowered smoothly into the yawning hole.
Later, he did cry a little. Five tears spilled out.
One for each minute he left her alone in the house.

#26
Terms and Conditions by Lynn Gale - 189 Votes
Opening my eyes, bright white light.
“He’s awake Doctor” a nurse said, checking the monitor.
“Cerebral Function good”
White coated figure approaching.
“Excellent, operation was a success”.
Why couldn’t I speak? I can’t even move!
“Showing signs of distress”.
“Mr Carson, keep calm, we will shut you down”.
Shut me down, what’s he talking about?
“You agreed to this”.
I did?
Remembering.
Angry at being told to stop playing.
That message on the screen
Play Duskfall, uninterrupted
Read and accept.
Fantastic, one click.
Who reads terms and conditions anyway?
The Doctor smiled.
“Brain attached”,
“You’ll be joining the others soon”.

#27
The Promotion by Debbie Balding - 203 Votes
I dropped a plate at the special dinner he had organized for his work colleagues,including his boss. He craved recognition, not humiliation. He was infuriated. His look across the room instilled an all too familiar feeling within me. Fear. I would be punished.
Later the rage turned into violence, I the recipient an accustomed punch bag. Our two year old son rubbed his eyes as he entered the room. It was time. Bruised and battered, clutching my boy, I left during the night.
His boss was aware. She helped me. This was my promotion after all. New beginnings. Freedom.

#28
The New Principal by Arthur KC Chan - 93 Votes
The new principal is no stranger to this school. Thirty-five years ago, she suddenly quit the sixth grade and left town.
A long-serving teacher shows her around. The premises are different from what she recollects. Except a room at the far end of the corridor.
Door shut. She halted.
“The music room. Wanna take a look?”
“No. I know it well.”
The man is puzzled.
She looks straight at him, growls, “A storeroom back then. A timid girl was detained and sexually harassed in there. The secret has been locked. Until now.”
Stunned, he collapses under her eyes of wrath.

#29
Capriccio by Eliza-Ana Smultea - 111 Votes
I watched the old man as he played the piano, in a music shop on St. Clemens' after working hours.
His eyes closed. Keyboards memorised. As he leaned closer to the piano, tickling him, making him laugh in the notes of Bach's "Capriccio" my eyes fixed on his head. And it was pink. Soft vulnerable pink.
It was supposed to be a piano concerto, yet he was not accompanied. I pressed my fingers on the showcase. Tears in my eyes. Completely helpless as I saw his head falling on the piano. Hammers striking the strings violently. "Capriccio" unfinished. Why grandpa?

#30
Good Decision by Rowan Guthrie - 134 Votes
My toes over the roof-edge. I'm not crying because I'm doing the right thing. I let myself fall.
Tumbling, I plunge through the layers of my fruitless life.
My family when it was.
Me, the bullied apprentice.
The lonely schoolboy.
The unspeakable things of home.
Violently, I spin between blue sky and concrete. Wind flaps in my ears. Rushing towards the blessed impact - Now!
Awake. Sitting up in bed. Sweating. Shivering. My breaths short and sharp. My jackhammer heart.
It was so real. It was too real.
Where's my phone?
I dial a Samaritan. I say;
I...I need to talk.

#31
A Quiet Night In by Carpice Darnell - 193 Votes
The amber light breaks through the curtains, which is blown apart from the midnight wind. The world is quiet, as I remain in my hazy in-between. Only the sounds of people on the prowl for excitement and an echoing breathing. Strong arms hold me in place with their heavy breathing moving my body in sync as it purrs down my spine,. The pulsing throb has mellowed in my head now and the light becomes much clearer. The only part of the night that remains cloudy, is the fact that I came to my bed alone, in an originally empty flat.

#32
Angelic by Abbie Adey - 159 Votes
I'd never seen someone single-handedly do 'perfect' the way Talita Michaels had; there was just something incredulous about her approach to the system that besotted me.
To believe that youth could be used so masterfully is really very intriguing when you look at it from a desperate, lonesome mans perspective.
A man willing to do anything if it means not having to look into the same, dreary eyes of his failing marriage. And a man of my word I am.
“Don’t worry beautiful, I don’t bring anyone here anymore. They'll never look for you here-
“I’ll see you tomorrow, Talita.”

#33
TV Dinners by Clara Dekker - 169 Votes
She yawned. “A great dinner, but I have a bit of indigestion; must cut down a bit. Think I’ll get to bed now, but you sit a while and watch an hour or so of boys’ TV. Promise you won’t wake me up?”
Slowly upstairs, breathless by the top. “Must get fit; maybe some gardening tomorrow? But my arm really hurts. Don’t know why.”
She crawled into bed. “Tired, tired, tired. Ooh, that indigestion is right across my chest now. More painful than childbirth, I reckon.” Darkness. An hour later he slipped into bed, next to her silent, unmoving body.

#34
A Step Under Sky by Ciera Cree - 212 Votes
There’s just something about evenings. The way the sky darkens around you and springs into soft ever fading pastels. I love when it smells of smoke, I always have and will never know why. Walking past houses with little lit windows, occasional doors open and not quite familiar faces about oblivious to the scene. I wonder what goes on between their walls, how happy the people really are. Minds intrigue me, there’s just so much to learn. What makes a person cry or wish to fade away, what sets their heart on fire, their places of hidden darkness and light.

#35
Of Sword and Pen by Chloe McCabe - 177 Votes
I pluck my weapon from its makeshift tin holder. A sharp, acrid taste smacks my tastebuds as I purposefully run its sharp tip along my tongue, where I know the bitter flavour will nestle until midday.
"Today’s the day," I mumble under my breath. "All I have to do is start."
A slick film coats my palms as I grip the delicate, white body and lay it in front of me. Its smooth skin taunting me with its blankness. Familiar conversations echo around my mind and pull me into a well known darkness.
"We all have one novel in us."

#36
Flour Babies byTiffany Williams - 192 Votes
Our English teacher, worried we had unrealistic pregnancy fantasies, assigned us flour babies. My daughter was economy-sized. I named her Mabel and PVA-glued fabric to her packaging for a dress. She never cried, even when I left her sleeping in a drawer and came back to a trail of white pawprints across the carpet.
Our Science teacher didn't like the experiment (though it certainly proved something) and made us line them up on a shelf. Protective, I let Mabel go last.
Between cell diagrams came a crash.
‘Somebody's baby fell in the bin!’
Sorry, Mabel. You should have been self-raising.

#37
The Key to My Heart by Jessica Brodie - 179 Votes
His letter says it all. How much he misses me. My little idiosyncrasies. My short fuse. My eyes. He paints me on the page with words. Subtle words, echoing his love. He never actually said ‘I Love You’. I guess this way is easier for him. Easier for him to go, never look back. What made him write a letter in the first place? Does he feel he owes me something? Maybe it isn’t so easy for him.
I’m left wanting to tell him that he found the key to my heart and then threw it away.
Too late now.

#38
Reminder by Lili James-Gets - 125 Votes
I was wearing a black suit, itchy and new. Grandma photographed Anna straightening my tie; Mum teared up.
"Are you crying, Mummy?"
She shook her head, pulling me against her. "Just proud of you, darling."
She kissed my hair. I clung to her.
More photos: everyone watched me trying to be brave.
I felt overexposed.                                   
We arrived and the camera was dead, and Grandma was frustrated. I almost felt guilty, batteries clinking in my pocket, but I looked at Dad's picture by the pulpit and justified myself. You don't need photos of your father's funeral to keep the memory fresh.

#39
Cait Sith by Donna Frances Thomson - 132 Votes
The cat wandered aimlessly awaiting the body to be taken to the cemetery.
With rolls of thread, seeds, to keep her entertained outside the cemetery gates.
She would come to the grave & purr & try to steal his soul as he passed.
I had the sudden urge to throw back the linen on the mirror in the room where the body was resting.
I never knew if the stories were true.
I resisted the urge to remove the linen from the free-standing ornate mirror.
I could capture his soul I thought & keep it there like a trapped butterfly.

#40
The Noise by A de Wit - 98 Votes
Again the sound, the one that makes me flinch.  I feel it gnawing inside me, like nails on chalk board, the sound making every fiber in my body scream in agony.  Beyond the door I hear the muffled screams, which flow like a tide, my clenched white knuckles gripping the seat, knowing my time will come, my fate will be upon me.
The handle in front of my eyes turns slowly, my heart leaping to my mouth, peering eyes look into my soul, as I barely hear the words as my name is called for my teeth to be checked.

#41
A Captain's Tale by Bas Van der Lee - 98 Votes
I entered emergency at last, with an apology and snow clothed uniform. She called before the plane
ascended; the trembling startled me, more than the words did.
The bareness of her hand shuddered me. She abandoned the terms; I was a fool for wearing mine.
“Do you want to witness it? People often faint.” A neglectable concern. My ring clenched against her
skin; there was nothing I could do but stare. “Dearest, I have not forsaken. Dearest, I have not
complained. Was there nothing in that promise?” The nurse broke my silence. “Sir, would you like to
hold your son?”

#42
Certified Copy by Pilar Cucalon - 45 Votes
- What with our irreconcilable differences? the boss asked.
- Well, there will be no headstone so, who are you not reconciling with other than yourself? The truth and the fall are both a flight of fantasy.  Infatuation starts with the unknown.  Composing a story of my life is like frostbite and pest control hoping for the light of a goddess.
- Try to have a quiet night in, remember to read the terms and conditions, do not always believe your eyes and never appear spaced out.  If anyone offers, always reply: ‘No sweet corn, thanks, just the flour babies’.

#43
Demon Forest by Angel Hardy - 99 Votes
She slammed the door behind her and started to walk towards the forest that was lit up slightly by the moonlight. The trees were billowing and the shadows of the leaves were creeping along the ground as if they were alive. As she continued into the forest she heard the crunching of the fallen leaves behind her. She looked back and saw a figure trying to hide behind an old tree with branch like claws. She panicked and her breathing grew increasingly fast. She turned around quickly and ran as fast as she could. Then a hand grabbed her aggressively. 

#44
Date Night by Kirsty McGrory - 188 Votes
What I remember most about going back to Odious Rick’s place that night is the enormous onion that was sitting on his kitchen counter. He pointed it out to me in the morning, as he was swanning around the squat in a dressing gown like Hugh Heffner, making himself breakfast, but not offering me anything. The monstrous onion was startling, a welcome diversion from him, myself, and from Sergio, an expressionless kitchen spectre who intermittently complained quietly about the electricity meter.
 ‘Who’s your landlord?” I asked, lighting a cigarette.
“Dunno,” Rick winked.
The onion seemed to laugh. I joined in.

#45
Caesura by Maxwell Sly - 167 Votes
His foot is placed on cold cobbled stone beneath the coffee-shop table. The soft brown brogues tap out the rhythm to an unknown, silent song. Your eyes trace beyond his naked ankles and up the seam of his cold blue jeans, reaching white worn knees and taught thread over muscled thigh. It jumps, flying across the wire of his knotted earphones, leading towards a stubbled jaw, which in turn sharply jolts towards his -
Your eyes lock.
Your heart thumps in your ears and your stomach knots.
Your breath fails as-
You
Wait.
-
His gaze retreats.
The moment ends. You drown.

#46
The Kitchen Window by Roxanne Keeber - 144 Votes
In his last letter, he said he would look out of the window and wave. So, as the train carried her through his beloved countryside, she imagined him there. He would be stood alone at the kitchen window, making a strong cup of tea in an oversized mug. Eyes straining, and ears listening out for the disruptive sound of the train. Of course, she wouldn’t be able to see him- she was too far away- but she knew that he was there. He would always be there, patiently waiting to welcome her home. That was all she needed to know.

#47
Not Today by Rebecca Agard - 153 Votes
It’s too cold for this coat. But it doesn’t matter. I wonder how you might remove all of your teeth without alerting a soul. How much would that hurt? If I was lost would they insist upon finding me? Haven’t I angered them enough?
Funerals are a funny business. One must pretend to be so solemn. Then all that escalates into self-interested rage, how dull.
Vertigo and ecstasy surge through me as the train that won’t stop passes by. Too late. It doesn’t matter, there’s always next time. At least disingenuous, sordid and perverted relations won’t know that I’ve died.

#48
The Suitcase by Yvonne Lang - 206 Votes
Jane admired the suitcase. It was a gorgeous shade of green that would stand out from the other boring suitcases. It was a great size and had dainty turquoise wheels. It was on sale too, a sign her and Michael’s make or break holiday was going to be a success.
Then Jane had returned home to find her husband’s bags packed. He had decided the trip was superfluous; he was leaving to be with his new girlfriend.
Jane stepped back and admired her new suitcase. Michael’s body had squeezed in perfectly. Jane knew this suitcase had been meant for her.

#49
Gemma's Teddy by Natasha Sinclair - 118 Votes
The breeze wafted through the thick deep orange curtains. Bathing the drab third floor flat. Manky midden air from the rising summer heat mingled with the rising damp of the crumbling tenement walls. A fresh lick of paint only tricked the eyes. Festering rot just beneath that thin surface.
Gemma sat in the corner of the living room, face blotchy red in desperate tears. Huddled into her baby wrapped in his pale blue teddy blanket. Dead. Still. Rocking back and forth quietly sobbing, “I just needed you to stop screaming, just for a minute.”
“You can wake up now, Teddy…”

#50
Banana by Andy Mannion - 183 Votes
Through the enclosure window we spotted a young female holding a half eaten banana. Excited, my young son did monkey gestures and eventually caught her attention. The young female approached cautiously, watched by her mother. When she was in touching distance my son banged hard on the window startling the young female causing her to tumble backwards and drop the banana. Instinctively my son made a grab for the banana thumping his head hard against the window. The young female stood up and laughed at my son's stupidity before being picked up by her mother and disappearing into the crowd.

 #51
The Postman Only Cheats Once  by Helen Yendall - 198 Votes
He was only a postie but he was all mine. Until she moved in, down the hill. 
Home at lunchtimes, he was different. He’d pull off his bicycle clips, race upstairs to shower. 
Then I found out.
“Do you love her?” I screamed.
He smiled crookedly. “I’m head over heels.” 
He moved out. 
I waited in the darkness one morning, heard his bike approaching.
At the crest of the hill, he started to freewheel. I pulled the wire taut. 
He must’ve been touching thirty when his neck hit it. Just like cheese wire through cheddar. 
‘Head over heels’?
I’ll say. 

 #52
A Broken Promise by Sahra Nur - 117 Votes
Every morning she wakes up with only one thing set on her mind, not to eat unhealthy food at work. Alas, that promise is broken at least twice each day. For how does one control their desires when it comes to food? That of the rich. With no healthy food at hand, her work in confectionery is more or less a misplaced nightmare from the night before. And there we have a problem. She wonders how to fix this. Perhaps her only solution is, to quit this job and move on. For a broken promise is not something to carry.

 #53
Gone Fishing by Jan Keenan - 93 Votes
Reeling this way then that, bobbing past me at limpid midnight. There’s no hurry, I’ve got all night - the stars are winking like tiddlers and the moons a rockpool, and there’s so many of them. Stiletto shoals, all rippling fishnets and silvery laughter. Safety in numbers they think, but there's always one.
Look, there, separated from the shoal, zigzagging over.
Deep-water thoughts cast into my head.
She knocks on the window.
'You available?'
I nod and she opens the back door.
Her net-mesh legs part as she wriggles inside.
‘Where to, Sweetheart?' I say as the lock clicks shut.

 #54
Hurt Me Not, My Love by Amresh Kumar - 152 Votes
The pain in my breast was extreme.
Last night he had bitten so hard at my nipple that blood came out.
I was fast asleep when he started touching my breasts and tried to press his lips into them. I tried to wriggle out but he was persistent. Then I uncovered my breast and thrust the nipple into his mouth. He grabbed it passionately and started sucking . 
Suddenly he bit it very hard.
I cried and pushed him away raising my hand to slap him.
But held back in time.
How can you slap your one year old for anything?

 #55
Lucid Writing by Hannah Walker - 180 Votes
I yawn widely at my screen before deciding on another coffee. Getting up, I stretch, and move through the silent house to the kitchen. Feeling the stress of the deadline, I still can’t finish this chapter. My thriller was, like myself, spiralling. I feel like I could almost see the killer, sitting in the shadows, taunting me. I shrug off the thought, knowing I would not like to meet the end of his gun like my protagonist. Back at my desk I begin typing, only to stop at the sound of a deafening click. I feel metal touch my neck. 

 #56
Face Paint by Claire Bassi - 177 Votes
‘Move closer,’ Dan whispers.
Ensnared by foliage, afraid of breaking twigs beneath my feet, I lean in, taut, hold my breath. We’re both new to this. Dan extends his fingers, smears my face with lines of black and green, concealing our pale teenage skins. I disappear into shifting shadows, wishing I was back home. We never asked for this.
There are shots in the distance, the sound of others approaching, thrashing their way through undergrowth. I can’t make out their voices. We lie motionless, hoping they’re on our side.
Oh crap.
We’re dead.
Paintballing. I hate these team building days.

 #57
In Local News... Richard Stonebridge - 185 Votes
It was a policewoman who came round.You probably would have fancied her. She looked like that one off the telly I caught you googling once. "Is there anyone I can call for you" she said. Well not bloody well now there isn’t.
I’ll have to cancel your magazines I s’pose. And the ‘oliday. I told you we should have got the insurance Mick. Fat lot of good that diet done you then eh. And that bleedin’ bike. I should’ve put me foot down. You didn’t need to lose weight you silly git, you were just fine as you were.

 #58
Sixty Seconds by Isabella Rose - 172 Votes
Alexis crashed through the balcony window causing panic to the couple inside the bedroom.
“Armed police. On the ground now!” She screamed as she expertly aimed her gun at the couple. The couple immediately complied, allowing Alexis to handcuff them against the radiator. Immediately she rushed out of the room and began to clear the house as her fellow S.W.A.T officers followed, covering her from behind. Darting between each room in the house, Alexis cleared the house of any suspects before barraging out of the front door, to be greeted by her commander,
“Out in Sixty seconds! Well done Alexis!”

VOTING IS CLOSED FOR DRABBLE #4